Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

7/26/21 - RedBlue - Constance Wood Stove ch 18&19 (3497 words)

4 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

Thank you for all of your feedback. Lots of good points were made, especially about the logistics of the escape plan, which hopefully I can iron out. Chapters 18 and 19 this week.

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the character’s thoughts and actions make sense?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pg 1:

The first line feels a little clunky.  I think maybe the description between the two dialogue sections might be a little too long?

Pg 2:

“I expect you’ll still be wanting them.” So where does S think she’s going if not to the AH (sidenote: It amuses me that abbreviating AH immediately makes me think of someone startled and shouting.  And now it’s impossible to not think of it as a haunted house jump-scare thing every time I type it.  But anyway.)

“couldn’t win a fight…” even against skeletal S? I imagine there’s not much muscle there.

Pg 3:

“a sword.” A what-now? This was not what I was expecting.

“It doesn’t make sense.” I do love messing around with dimensional perception.

a tube of something” I think having a better comparison for what this looks like would be helpful.  Does it resemble a tube of toothpaste? A tube of caulk or sealant? A tube of lotion/makeup/something small? Something to give us an idea of size/shape/etc. even if she has no idea what it is.

“I told these fools…” Hah.  I was not expecting S’s insistent supportiveness here, but I like it.

Pg 4:

“Mr. S’s driving screen” and I repeat: what-now?

“Where else would teachers go…” Hah. The universal mind-blowing childhood realization that teachers might live somewhere other than the school.

Pg 5:

“…with you out of the house.” Wow. Rude. But also entirely in character.

Pg 6:

“S is a lost cause.” Oh.  This is not a thought I would have expected to come from C. And it makes me a little sad. I was getting attached to a new angle of reaching out to S or one of the other adults.  I mean. S can only be blamed so much for the stove and town eating away at her decency.  And if S is too far gone because she’s sacrificed some aspect of her decency to the stove, how are any of the friends who’ve made sacrifices any less-far-gone?  Seems a little harsh from C.

Pg 10:

“help with grandpa.” I’m still not sure why she’s fine with leaving him there at all when the whole point is that they’re abandoning the town with the assumption that the curse is probably going to consume it all. When they don’t trust any of the adults, who do they think is going to be capable of watching him?

Pg 12:

Will the AH accept someone who isn’t Ash-? I was under the impression that it wouldn’t.  Why wouldn’t someone else have just jumped in to take advantage of its powers in the meantime? 


Overall (which pretty much includes the answers to your questions, since it would be trickier to separate them than just lump them together):

I like S’s unexpected helpfulness but it seems like an odd place for her to jump in and be helpful if she is then going to insist on dying on the ash pile. I will continue to hope she joins the fleeing-the-town expedition at the last second, armed with the weird sword, until proven otherwise.  And either way, I found C’s response to S rather disappointing. I get that she’s determined to get out of there, but writing S off as a lost cause instead of grieving her decision to stay behind (even if S is sort of a horrible person) seemed out of character to me. 

I do like the addition of the new ashen items quite a lot, and am entirely fine with their weirdness so long as they don’t become a deus ex machina to solve every problem. The fact that they’ve been associated with specific characters we have interacted with helps a lot with that, I think.  The sword is a good fit because we’ve been wondering the whole time what’s going on with Ch. The driving screen is a little more iffy, since we hadn’t really had any indication of Mr. S’s sacrifice before then (as far as I remember).

Our insight-riddle-fan makes me feel a little better about T’s sacrifice, though I do think I could still use some additional clarity (or insight, perhaps) on what exactly being without insight means.  And I’m a little concerned about her competence dropping too much because of the loss.  As it is, there have been a few times since her sacrifice where she’s seemed to take a little longer to catch on to things, and times when she’s jumped right into conversations, and I think there needs to be more consistency there or more clarity about why she’s able to process some things quickly and why others just don’t click.

The Cut- coming to get E was the main part that seemed like it went on longer than it needed to.  I do like getting the detail that he thinks the keys were never found, which to me suggests that E is still supporting his friends, whether or not he ends up being willing to go himself. But I’m not sure how much else we should be taking away from that.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall, no real concerns with this chapter. It's a little light on progression with the plot, but two problems are solved and there's some good emotional impact between C. and S.
I'd say the second chapter has a little less impact than the first. We can guess at most of what happened when the mayor took his son, so it's a little repetitive to find out about it again through C and T. The second half is better, with the fan and T's realization.

pg 7: I thought the interaction with S. was really good, and showed a lot about how C is growing up. Also, of course there are more ashen items. Interesting to see where they all are.

pg 7: "And it’s probably illegal."
--Doesn't the mayor sort of define that in this town?

pg 13: nice revelation with grandpa, but can non-ashen even enter the house? I can't remember from before.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

As I go:

pg 1. I'd like to see a hint of intention behind C's actions here (not that you have to spill anything). Right now I don't see a reason for her to be doing this, and the story so much as saying that there is a reason C isn't saying out loud would help 

-Also why is T here?

pg 2. This feels contrived unless I know why T is here. Though it's been a while, so maybe I just forgot what was going on at the end of the last chapters. 

pg 4. So the device auto-steers? That feels much more modern/futuristic than what I was imagining for the setting. Which is cool, but I feel like we could use a few more hints about that if it's intentional

pg 5. Hmm the way C talks about the paste makes me think it's magic. I mean, it's not like glue makes things invisible. So is the screen magic too? I don't think you need to spill all of the secrets of the setting but I think I need a bit more direction here

-Not sure how much Ashen equates to magic 

pg 6. This is really good because it shows what the future will be for these kids if they stay, which makes their current mission more urgent

pg 7. I like how the accusations of impropriety come before the legality. Shows you how this guy thinks

pg 10. Took me a while to figure out whose PoV it is 

pg 11. Strong tension here

pg 12. C being explicit about her thoughts on the fan is helpful for me. I now understand what I should and shouldn't know

On 7/26/2021 at 10:11 AM, RedBlue said:

1) Any boring or confusing bits?

2) Do the character’s thoughts and actions make sense?

1. Nope! 

2. Yep. I like E with his dad more than with C. There's a lot more going on with him when he's not just refusing to engage with what's going on. C is really coming into her own as someone who needs to coordinate this big thing, and T is made more interesting by the fan. Again, my only real question is why C thinks it's better to bring T along and have her misread the situation with the adults instead of having her hide somewhere. 

I think the pieces are coming together rather nicely. What these chapters really show me is that the parts before this could use some trimming since *this* is where it starts getting real and it would be good to get here asap. 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.